the metamorphosis from me to ME along the journey
~~METAMORPHOSIS -1~~ on the journey|
AN ACCOUNT OF MY LEARNING, POEMING AND LIFE-J0OURNEY, 09/18/09ff
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++THIS IS TO BE READ BY ALL WHO DARE TO READ AND ENJOY!!!**!!!***
SEPTEMBER 21, 2009
This is my inaugural entry in this journal. This is really a fun and rewarding way to do this!! I am looking forward to filling these pages, and more!!!. .
|And, thanks also Karen, for her kind honesty and the reflection on my ongoing metamorphosis. It seems to be zooming along right now, and I am aware that as it is in mid-flight, it can just as easily slow down to a boring crawl! Thanks for your honest kindness and total encouragement, no matter where I find myself!
|I have just received a review on one of my best poems, and want to discuss it here on Saturday. Thought I would get a jump on it while I have a minute to play . . . .
The best thing about calling myself a writer,
is that I can maintain a perfectly blank stare
on my face, and when queried, can honestly
say "I'm working!"
It's not hard to be creative,
just hard to defend
the blank stare as "work."
It's easiest at my computer; harder at the mall,
where no one-not even my husband,
wants to think of himself
as a "character"
in my latest piece!
But, my blank stare continues,
while my blank creativity
sparkles happily on!
I remember writing this after we had just moved here, when I was lost and terrified and didn't know WHAT had happened to my life. I was spending my days alone just writing. I was an odd sight to these people; they had only ever seen computers in the context of gaming, not serious composition. And I perisisted in referring to my desktop, even though I was borrowing various laptops from my dear husband. The fam thinks that laptops are the only computers fit for use, but then again, I was doing something unnatural like WRITING POETRY, so they just shook their heads and ignored me. So, one day my oldest nephew was making fun of me and my blank stare, and this poem just sort of popped out from nowhere.
I like it, it is appropos for my misunderstood situation. It is also a good example of my use of poetry to laugh at myself or make sense of my world.
|After writing and reminiscing about Mary Hoel, I took the opportunity to look around my bedroom and realized that I actually have 2 of her beloved pictures on our walls, smiling down at me every day. One is of the old Clifton mill before it was torn down; my dad and I fondly visited its ruins each year on our way to Grandma Hoel's house. and a piece of embroidery from her home that she gave to my mom when she had to go into the nursing home/old college dorm and my folks helped her make that painful move from the tiny home she had shared with her husband of 50+ years. So, her simple aesthetics are with me still.
Her motto used to be "go while you can;" significant to me now when my goings and comings are partially abridged by my own mobility and disease process.
|Because my grandma lived nowhere me when I was little, and because my adoptive parents were themselves old enough to be my grandparents, I "adopted" grandparents along the way like some people find and add pen pals.
My first grandma was my mom's best friend/my dad's boss's wife. Mama and Daddy Top began to take me to their home for sleep-overs when I was just a few months old, during a time of my mom's emotional instability, a precursor to her later mental illness. The Altops, a middle-aged couple, were devoted to me and recognized me as an "at risk" child before that all-too common phrase even became popularized. They had me over to spend the night to give my own parents some adult time. We would pop corn, make hamburgers, and play. They lived in Indianapolis, my birthplace. Much of my sense of place and home comes from memories spent with the Tops. Many of the little-kid books I still have in my collection were given to me and inscribed by Mama Top. I have gotten my love of breakfast cereal from eating breakfast with mama top at her kitchen table. She routinely bought many types of cereal and mixed them to blend the flavors. Her cereal mixture made breakfast an adventure. Her love for me was complete and devoted. I suspect that my deep love of classical music playing in any background is from the records she must have played during the day on her old, tall phonograph, because certain music inexplicably brings her grinning, loving face to my mind, and gentle tears fill my eyes without warning.
The second grandmother whom I latched onto was my dad's mother's best friend; I caught her in my web at Grandma Jenson's funeral when I was 8, in Clifton, Texas.
She was childless and delighted in telling everyone we met throughout the rest of her life that I had caught her hand at Grandma Jenson's funeral and said "would you be my grandma; my grandma died." I actually remember that moment. We went on to visit her every year starting when I was 15 and going on til I was 26, when she too passed away. We had moved from Chicago to Little Rock, Arkansas when I was 14, thus making visiting "Grandma Hoel" much easier, as it was only a 7-hour drive at that time. She was actually some species of distant cousin, but our focus was on our relationship of love and caring. She had known my dad as a young man; he went to college in that small texas town. The old college building that still remains standing has been bought by the local nursing home and turned into an independent living residential hall; Grandma Hoel got to live in the old building, once an actual dormitory, during her golden years! It was a wonderful relationship.
My two grandmas never met. Yet I feel their strong influences each day as I move through my own adult life. I miss them and wish that I could thank them for the love they shared, and the bits of themselves they shared. They both taught me self-less love and a quiet, devout faith in God.
Excuse the referenct to gentile thoughts in the first paragraph about mama top--I don't spell well at night. My casualty was "gentle thoughts,"
She was open minded about EVERYTHING except for cats; she would have hooted at the gentile thoughts.She despised cats more than anything else because they ate the birds she fed in her backyard. . . .I can't believe that I even like cats, as strong as the rest of her influence on me was. We actually had to BOARD our cat during her visits to Chicago after we left Indianapolis!
|“A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket.” ~Charles Peguy
So, do I have to tear words out of me to put them on paper, or do they just roll out spontaneously? I sort of think that my years of journaling and poeming make them sort of rush out, unbidden, when I am least expecting it! So, I guess my words come from somewhere loose and free, like a pocket, rather than from somewhere requiring extraction, like a stomach! That is a long way of saying that they just rush out, no topic needed, just (formerly) a good pen and some paper, or (now) a good wordprocessor with an Internet hook-up!
And words-as-books have always been my friends. I have always revered books. I buy too many of them; we have about 25 BOXES of them in storage as I speak. Nowhere to put them, so they can't be unpacked. But TOO DEAR to me to just abandon or give away! They are a part of me as surely as my brown hair or long legs. They have been my dear friends for years, seeing me through tough times and joys. They are full of beloved words which have made me ME.
So, now that I am old enough to write and make sense, words are my world. And they spew forth from me whether I invite them to or not. I guess if I kept them in my coat pocket, the pocket would be bursting at the seams, and over-flowing!
|I title this the FREEDOM OF A GROUP BLOG because it will give a bunch of us the chance to write around a common theme with no correct answers in mind from anyone! So, we are all free to write knowing others will be using the same subject in different ways. That is just freeing to me! And, makes me want to write for the joy of writing,
I read through all of my existing Blog earlier today checking for any profanity or obnoxious observations that I needed to self-censure before going public. Found a few words that I wouldn't use in public in front of just ANYONE, but nothing too bad! Still am not comfortable with the fam reading my stuff, but like I said, if they can figure out how to get to it , I say "more power to 'em!"
So far, the focus of my writings here has been to rave about how unhappy I am here despite all of my happy and silly rhyming writing that I have posted here during the last 2.5 years. Viewing all of this at one time makes me wonder if I have been as unhappy as I have believed, or if I am just able to put on a happy face for myself to keep myself going. To keep up appearances! I sure have been miserable, and I have derived a huge amount of joy from writing my silly, manic poetry since 022609, the date I joined WDC after moving in with my inlaws and with my hubby Rick Cartwright and our 6 cats as of 021109. Rick has recently begun working from home, as of 070111. His previous job ended that day, and he has become quite a busy and productive freelance writer since that day! I am happy to recount that now that all 8 of the Jenson-Cartwrights are in the same house all of the time, we are all much happier. Rick actually begins a new online job working from home for a Denver, CO communications company as of next week. Until then, all 8 of us, human and feline, are working in our little home office which also doubles as a bedroom and feline day care center Since Rick is here more, the cats are better behaved and I am not as lonely; those are good things! Starting next monday, Rick will have his own little cubby off the living room for his "day" job; the other 7 of us will continue to work in the Animal Planet!
|Functioning to stay sane. Forget the over-functioning; today all I can be good at is merely FUNCTIONING!
We have declared a holiday of sorts because the rest of the household is out of town at niece Paula's in Birmingham. They have gone to retrieve great-niece Emily, who has been helping out at Paula's since Paula's recent surgery. So, they splashed off in last night's thunderstorm to retrieve Em, leaving us blissfully alone and quiet! I had made homemade mushroom soup for our 23rd wedding anniversary supper, and we were able to enjoy a quiet drama-free evening! That was a better anniversary present than diamonds and gold! To read late into the night with my hubby and spatting cats without fear of family drama! Pure bliss!
This family all has anger problems. I wish I could force them to take anger management classes. They have had a pretty sucky existence, but they don't make it any better by not doing things to change their situation. I am in the same boat since I am stuck living here, but in my own defense , I have become a full-time freelance writer with more business than I can handle and an increasingly useful and pleasant income to show for it! If I just worked the hours I have been authorized to work by my various employers, I could make in excess of $260/wk. on my hourly jobs. That doesn't take into account any fixed-price work, of which I usually have another $10 worth each week. That is not bad for sitting around in old clothes, listening to Internet radio, and writing a few words each hour! If I get better at this, I will have a better income than I did as a poorly-paid associate for a law firm in my last life!
|OVERWHELM-ption. As in--it is not even noon. I have already eaten too much, had too much coffee, kicked a cat by accident, done my dishes, worked up a sweat, planned the day and am managing to run about 5 hours late for all that I have planned, forgetting that I have been awake for fewer than 5 hours today, and have been at a desk for only about 3. Talk about setting oneself up to fail, or at least to have some major self-image problems!
I need to end this admittedly upward spiral of achievement in favor of a kinder, gentler system--a more realistic M.O. that doesn't give me such fits before noon! If I could just wait until lunch is digested, or even eaten, before I start on myself! Life could be a kinder, gentler place. But if I flowed along at the pace that this group I live with wants to perpetuate, nothing would get done, no dishes would be washed, etc. Ugh, a tough choice. They exhaust me. I exhaust me, too, when I try to build what I consider to be a sensible life here. But that is the only way that I can live in this milieu. Over-functioning to stay sane! That should be my mantra. Or, at least my by-line. . . .
|Henceforth, I am changing the focus of my obsession with timekeeping to concentrate on using the timekeeping mechinisms that I already have to enable me to get the most out of what I already have rather than wishing for new stuff that I can't afford! That will make my dreaming and planning more meaningful. I can really only effectively use my small daytimer books anyway. They can ride around in my little waist pak and a larger notebook would just be a less useful desk notebook anyway. Coming to that realization and acceptance is a very liberating event for me. Gives me peace of mind and assures that I will not be buying useless stuff!
|Making homemade soup today. No recipe; just throw in what looks to be a possible ingredient. So far, beans, rice, corn, ground beef, tomato paste, garlic, onion, cajun spices,. Not kitchen sink yet, but that is coming. Will serve with grated cheese, sour cream, and maybe something else. Yum